Show Personal Work on Your Website
When designing a new website (or redesigning your existing one), one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is what to call your portfolio galleries and what to include in your images. Photographers are all over the map, some simply number their galleries: Gallery 1, Gallery 2, and so on. Some use more descriptive words: People, Places, Editorial, and Corporate. I’ve even seen gallery titles such as, Happy Faces, Beautiful, and Innocent. Clients I’ve asked prefer intuitive, descriptive gallery titles.
I think even more important than gallery names is that you include personal work. Years ago, before the web became the prominent method of showing one’s portfolio, a consultant suggested that in addition to one’s regular portfolio, a photographer should have a second, perhaps smaller, book of personal work.
I’ve held onto that thinking and include a gallery named “Personal Work” on my website. Clients like to see what you photograph when you’re not getting paid to shoot. It gives them an opportunity to get to know you a bit more, can extend that initial telephone call, and that’s a good thing. Typically, the longer a “sales” conversation continues, the more likely you are to land the assignment because it gives you more time to demonstrate your value to the client.
Your personal online portfolio might be comprised entirely of toy-camera photography, or images created with special equipment such as a Lensbaby, or a series of images that were similarly stylistically adjusted in post. It’s an opportunity for you to show off a personal project or do a bit of work outside your normal style.
Who knows? You might just get hired for that type of photography, shooting for a project you otherwise would not been awarded because you weren’t showing it since it didn’t match your typical work. Good luck!